Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison on gun possession charges today, just moments before he made a desperate attempt to get out of the plea deal that he had signed a month ago with prosecutors in Manhattan. After the sentencing on Wednesday, Shmurda told the judge that his lawyer had forced the deal on him, and he wanted to back out, but the sentence stands.
Shmurda’s reluctance to honor the terms of the plea deal came as a surprise to the courtroom, and no one seemed more surprised than the lawyer who was standing beside him in the courtroom. Twenty-two-year-old Bobby, real name Ackquille Pollard, insisted to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott that he had never wanted to take the plea deal which gave him the seven- year prison sentence.
“I was forced to take this sentence. I don’t want to take this sentence. I want to drop my plea.”
TMZ wrote that after he tried to convince the judge that he was being coerced, the rapper then turned and in the middle of the court proceedings, he fired his lawyer. The tension in the room skyrocketed as Shmurda seemed to be accusing his lawyer, Alex Spiro, of misrepresenting him, saying that “I want to drop my plea and fire you… Why are you telling me to waive my rights? I am not waiving my rights.”
It was almost two years ago that Bobby Shmurda was arrested and brought up on charges of gang conspiracy as well as gun and drug charges. He initially gave a plea of not guilty and was held on a $2 million bond. His two co-defendants, Chad “Rowdy Rebel” Marshall and Nicholas McCoy, were not present for today’s court appearance, but the plea deal the New York prosecutors cut with the men ensured that all three would not have to face the possibility of the maximum 15 years in prison on the charges they faced. The plea with the seven-year prison sentence also outlined that the defendants would also be relinquishing the right to appeal the charges and sentence.
The plea deal with the prosecutors was agreed upon just days before Shmurda was actually due to start trial, and he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of weapons possession. Shmurda says that he had accepted the deal for the sake of Chad Marshall and not because he had been guilty. The rapper says that despite what they claimed, the police had not caught him with an actual gun on June 3, 2014, but a prop for a rap video, and they had lied because of the color of the accused men’s skins. According to Pitchfork, the young rapper also said that had he been able to make bail and not have to wear the orange jumpsuits to court, the look of guilt would not have sat so heavily upon them, and people would have seen them differently, including “the judge, who looked at us like black thugs.”
Unfortunately for Bobby Shmurda, his decision to withdraw from the plea deal came just a little too late, though. Assistant District Attorney Nigel Farinha requested that the court moves forward despite the man’s protest and carry out the sentencing based on the plea bargain.
Judge Clott agreed and dismissed Alex Spiro’s last-minute request to delay the imposing of the sentence for three weeks, handed down the seven-year prison sentence, declaring that, “I don’t see any reason for an adjournment.”
Shmurda is best known for his hit song “Hot Boy,” as well as his performance in the “Shmoney Dance” video with “Rowdy Rebel,” which was extremely popular and got millions of YouTube views.
Bobby Shmurda had already been behind bars for a total of 21 months, and this will at least be credited to his seven-year prison sentence.
[Featured Image by Bebeto Matthews/AP Images]